We’re always trying to find new ways to better serve our customers — while keeping our environmental promise and reducing costs — so we’ve been doing some research behind the scenes that could do all-of-the-above, as well as maintaining our position at the forefront of green technology.
For the past couple of months, we have been testing out a semi-autonomous car, to see how it will fit into the Novex delivery fleet when the time comes. We know that autonomous vehicles are the future, so in order to stay ahead of the curve, we bought a Tesla Model 3 to test and collect data on the vehicle to find out how the autonomous feature can benefit us in the future. Our Brand Manager, Brett Surgenor has been at the wheel and he’s here to tell us more!
“The Tesla is an amazing car – it’s got some incredible features, and I know when we’re fully ready to launch, we’ll be able to give our clients some really exceptional customer service.”
So how exactly does an autonomous car work – and how would it work in the courier business?
“Autonomous vehicles are still quite a ways from being completely ‘driverless’, so that means there would still be someone present in the vehicle, and as a courier service, that would allow our couriers to prep for upcoming deliveries while the autonomous feature is activated to ensure better service when we reach our destination.
Safety is the primary factor here, so we’re not going out on the streets of the Lower Mainland with no-one in the vehicle! There would always be a Novex team member in the car, and they’re always in control!
Customer service will continue to be high priority for us, therefore we are testing how we can keep providing our customers with the high-level courier services they have come to expect, but with a new autonomous vehicle option. However, we are learning about the many practical obstacles. For example, it was often impractical for the customer to pick up their parcel from the vehicle since it was too bulky or heavy to move without a dolly. To solve this, we’re looking at a ‘white glove’ service, where we can liaise directly with a front desk or concierge of a multi-purpose building who could meet the vehicle out front.
This has been an eye opening and often heart pounding experience operating a semi-autonomous vehicle, however, we can’t wait to continue leading the way in our industry with this technology. We’re going to seriously disrupt things — in a very good way!”